Friday, May 05, 2006

The "lie" actually was a prediction...

Telling the Marine Corps I was a published photog was a gamble. I was only an 18-year old, skinny PFC but I knew I would NOT survive as an MP. I didn't think they would stop the whole process to check out my story and, of course, they didn't. This was the late 50s and nobody was shooting at anybody. The Corps was doing more PR than fighting so a photographer was always a good occupation slot to fill. The CWO who headed the Base Photo Lab got a good laugh when I told him how I was selected to join his crew and he assigned a Sgt to teach me the photography details I would need to know to be an asset to the Corps.

About 7 years later, in 1964, I WAS published in LIFE magazine. As a staff photographer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, I took an aerial shot that I sent off to LIFE magazine and it ran full page on the Miscellany page. The funny part is, the paper had turned it down.

LIFE called to say they liked the shot but needed details for a caption. I had snapped it from a helicopter coming back from an aerial assignment on surfers and knew generally where the word was carved in the field but after driving around, knocking on many doors, nobody knew what I was talking about.

Well, duh. You couldn't see if from the ground! So I hired a fixed wing plane for about $90 an hour and we circled around the north county until I spotted it again. I jotted down landmarks, landed and drove up to the man's house and he explained why he had plowed the word "QUIET" in his back yard.

A few years later, a publication in the Netherlands sent me a check when they ran the picture in an article on noise pollution and several other magazines were taken by the message in the shot...here is an angry person who "has had enough and won't take it anymore."

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1 Comments:

At Wed May 17, 06:29:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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